Shimon Peres: Israel should not attack 'morally corrupt' Iran, says president


Israeli President Shimon Peres.


Gali Tibbon

Israel should not take military action against Iran - at least not yet, said Israeli President Shimon Peres.

In an interview with CNN aired Monday night, Peres said he would prefer to see a "moral" attack on what he called "a spoiled country."

Peres told the interviewer:

"I wouldn't suggest to start immediately with a military operation. I would rather prefer to see tighter economic sanctions, closer political pressure, and what is very much an attack in the moral sense."

He added that Israel would wait for other countries' response to Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program rather than "jump alone" into military action.

Peres said Iran was a threat to every country, not just Israel. He accused Tehran of encouraging "every center of terror all over the world," describing Iran as "morally corrupt."

More from GlobalPost: Israel reacts to Iran nuclear ambitions

The president appeared to show more caution than he has in recent days, as speculation rises that Israel and the US are contemplating military strikes to take out Iranian nuclear facilities.

Peres said last week that he believed Israel was getting closer to a military option than a diplomatic one, comparing the situation to a "ticking clock."

More from GlobalPost: Iran will strike back if US, Israel hit nuclear sites, says supreme leader

The tension has prompted Iran to warn that it will strike back "with iron fists" if any of its nuclear sites are attacked.

Other countries including Russia and China have also warned against using force to sanction Iran.

More from GlobalPost: Is Israel's military capable of a successful military strike on Iran?